Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2142983
 
 

Citations (2)



 


 



The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation (Intro)


Kal Raustiala


University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Christopher Jon Sprigman


New York University School of Law; University of Virginia School of Law

June 1, 2012

Oxford University Press, 2012
UCLA School of Law, Law-Econ Research Paper No. 12-18

Abstract:     
From the shopping mall to the corner bistro, knockoffs are everywhere in today's marketplace. Conventional wisdom holds that copying kills creativity, and that laws that protect against copies are essential to innovation -- and economic success. But are copyrights and patents always necessary? In The Knockoff Economy, we argue that creativity can not only survive in the face of copying, but can thrive.

The Knockoff Economy approaches the question of incentives and innovation in a new way -- by exploring creative fields where copying is generally legal, such as fashion, food, and even professional football. These important but rarely studied industries reveal a nuanced and fascinating relationship between imitation and innovation. In some creative fields, copying is kept in check through informal industry norms enforced by private sanctions. In others, the freedom to copy actually promotes creativity. High fashion gave rise to the very term "knockoff," yet the freedom to imitate great designs only makes the fashion cycle run faster -- and forces the fashion industry to be even more creative.

The Knockoff Economy ranges from food to font design to football plays to finance, examining how and why each of these vibrant industries remains innovative even when imitation is common. There is an important thread that ties all these instances together -- successful creative industries can evolve to the point where they become inoculated against -- and even profit from -- a world of free and easy copying. And there are important lessons here for copyright-focused industries, like music and film, that have struggled as digital technologies have made copying increasingly widespread and difficult to stop.

By looking at markets that fall outside normal IP law, The Knockoff Economy demonstrates that not only is a great deal of innovation possible without intellectual property, but that intellectual property's absence is sometimes better for innovation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 25

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: September 7, 2012 ; Last revised: September 26, 2012

Suggested Citation

Raustiala, Kal and Sprigman, Christopher Jon, The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation (Intro) (June 1, 2012). Oxford University Press, 2012; UCLA School of Law, Law-Econ Research Paper No. 12-18. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2142983

Contact Information

Kal Raustiala
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )
385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
310-794-4856 (Phone)
Christopher Jon Sprigman (Contact Author)
New York University School of Law ( email )
40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
University of Virginia School of Law ( email )
580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 977
Downloads: 283
Download Rank: 63,354
Citations:  2
Paper comments
No comments have been made on this paper

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 0.515 seconds